Chapter 24

Greenhouse Pesticides

Pesticide Product Labels

The pesticide label is the main method of communication between a pesticide manufacturer and pesticide users. The information that is printed on or attached to a pesticide container is called the label. The pesticide label provides valuable information about the proper handling, use (including rates), potential risks a pesticide may pose, and instructions on how to minimize or avoid those risks. Every pesticide applicator has the responsibility to read and follow the label information so no harm will result from misuse or mishandling of the pesticide. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), specific information must appear on a pesticide label. Labeling, provided by the manufacturer may also provide additional information (referred to as labelling) concerning the pesticide including booklets, brochures, flyers, and other information as distributed by the pesticide dealer or manufacturer.

Material Safety Data Sheet

For more information on hazards, consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or contact the manufacturer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require that chemical manufacturers and importers provide a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to the purchaser of the product to communicate the hazard potential to users. There are several sources of MSDS.

Parts of Pesticide Label

Under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or FIFRA, specific information must appear on a pesticide label. Pesticide users have the legal responsibility to read, understand and follow the label directions. The information on pesticide labels usually is grouped under headings to make it easier to find the information you need. Some information is required by law to appear on a certain part of the label or under certain headings. Other information may be placed wherever the manufacturer chooses. Pesticide labels will usually contain the following sections (See Figure 24.1 for a sample label):

Identifying Information

Pesticide labeling contains basic information which helps users clearly identify the product. Some of these items will be on the front panel of every label according to EPA requirements. Other items, while generally on the front panel, may be located elsewhere on the label or in the labeling if the manufacturer chooses.

Statement of Use Classification

All uses of pesticides are classified on the basis of hazards, the intended use and the pesticide’s effect upon the environment. Pesticide use is classified either for “general-use” or “restricted-use.” General use pesticides are less likely to harm the user and/or environment when used according to the label. Restricted-use pesticides have a greater potential to harm the environment or the applicator when not used as directed. Training and certification is required for an applicator to purchase, apply, or supervise the application of a “restricted use” pesticide. When a pesticide is classified as restricted, the label will state "Restricted Use Pesticide" in a box at the top of the front panel.

Signal Words and Symbol

All pesticide labels have a signal word that describes immediate (acute) toxicity. Signal words help alert users to the risks of a pesticide product.

Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals

Hazards to humans and domestic animals statements are required when any acute toxicity study results in a product classification of Toxicity Category I, II, or III, and/or when the dermal sensitization study result is positive. Hazards to humans and domestic animals statements may specify both mandatory actions and advisory information.

Environmental Hazards

This section of the pesticide labeling will indicate precautions for protecting the environment when you use the pesticide. Some general statements appear on the labeling of nearly every pesticide. Most pesticide labeling, for example, will warn you not to contaminate water when you apply the pesticide or when you clean your equipment or dispose of pesticide wastes.

Directions for Use

Directly under the heading Directions for Use on every pesticide product labeling is the following statement: “It is a violation of Federal Law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” The Directions for Use section also contains sections on storage and disposal and may contain a section on entry into treated areas after a pesticide application. In addition, the Directions for Use section will contain specific directions for product use.

Click on the following topics for more information on pesticides for greenhouse crops.